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Sep 21, 2009 06:46 PM

The Seattle eat-list for this weekend - thoughts?

Hey Seattle Chow-kids, I'm visiting this weekend and wanted to see if any of you had any thoughts on my eat-list. Will be in town from Friday afternoon to Monday morning. I know it gets mixed reviews, but Elemental's pretty much the only place that we want to get for sure (had an awesome time last year). But other than that - let me know if you think I should drop something or I'm missing something that I should really really taste. Have car, except on Sunday. Staying downtown at the W. (x-posted to eG)

Dinner: Elemental (back up is Saturday dinner)

Early: Macrina Bakery & Cafe (worth waking up for?)
Morning: Pike Place Market
Afternoon: Molly Moon's Homemade Ice Cream, Trophy Cupcakes
Dinner: Sitka & Spruce? Joule?
Later Eating/Drinking: Zig Zag

Brunch: Rovers or Lola? (sleep in instead?)
Afternoon: Pagliacci Pizza (worth the trip out?)
Early Happy Hour: Poppy
Later Eating/Drinking: Quinn's

Breakfast: Dahlia Bakery

* Malay Satay Hut - any good? The family is Malay, so...
* How To Cook A Wolf - read some decent things, liked the name.
* Tsukushinbo - Thought it might be a good hit for Sunday lunch
* Boom Noodle - My sister's suggestion. I'm not sure if this is worth going?
* Elliott's Oyster House - Any good? Tourist trap?
* Paseo Carribean - Highly rated. Overrated?

--- -- food. is. love.

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  1. Rover's is not open for brunch anymore. Instead of Pagliacci go to Delancy's in Ballard.

    1 Reply
    1. re: bobert1006

      Thanks for the update on Rover's! Can cross that off the option list. Delancy's looks good and out in the direction of La Carta De Oaxaca / Paseo / Ballard market... hmnn.. thanks for the counter-suggestion!

    2. The restaurants that you are asking about like Elliott's and Paseo and How to Cook a Wolf are talked about so much on this board? Did you read any other threads at all?

      It is fine to ask questions - I do it all the time ... but I actually try to do some research first.

      People on here will tell you to go to Elliott's for Happy Hour where oysters start at .50ea and go up every half hour. They also have other things to eat at H.H. - I loved the fish tacos.

      Paseo gets lots of raves on here. The sandwich of choice seems to be the Cuban Roast (which used to be called the Midnight Cuban) - I should tell you though, it really isn't a "restaurant" It has very limited seating. (I guess it would be better for lunch)

      The Mrkt is a dining Mecca! Three Girls, Pike Place Chowder, Uli's, Market Grill, Matt's ... ALL GOOD!

      Go to Gelatiamo for the BEST Gelato EVER.

      Quinn's on Capital Hill is a favorite on here ...

      Lots of options.

      There have been some really great "where to eat" threads floating around the past few days. Just take a look.

      9 Replies
      1. re: boisenewbie

        LOL, if only you knew how much research I do on where to eat and when and what's around. Google maps and gCal are my right-hand when I travel, listing locations in close proximity to each other, as well as scheduling according to opening/close times to maximize my eats!

        Gelatiamo is a new suggestion to me - I was mostly looking at food, but if it's that good and so ridiculously close to the hotel, I can't imagine we wouldn't hit it up during our wanderings. Thank you.

        Elliott's does seem like the oyster place to go - maybe a drop-by for a snack. I'm running out of meal-slots.

        1. re: jlunar

          It IS that good! You will probably end up going every day LOL!

          By the way, I didn't mean to be rude before. I think it came out worse then I meant it to, and I apologize ... It is just that within the past few days there have been many similar threads to yours and it seems everyone is just repeating themselves over and over. (Plus I was in a mood last night) :-D

          You are going to have a great time! Seattle has REALLY GOOD food ... Can I make one more suggestion for you (not that you need it as I see you are trying to fit in so many places to eat already!) in Capital Hill there is a place called Coastal Kitchen that is often overlooked on this board. It is VERY (VERY) good!

          1. re: boisenewbie

            Thank you, gentleperson, Boisenewbie. We are all in this together, for the chow...

            1. re: boisenewbie

              We all get cranky sometimes :)

              Will note Coastal Kitchen - may have to pass this time around, given the crazy schedule, but if I can make it fit...

              1. re: jlunar

                forgot to mention Coastal Kitchen has Happy Hour at 9pm (not sure how long it lasts - at least an hour I'm sure) They have really good Rockfish Tacos on special ... Mmmm!! The late night HH may be a good way for you to try it ... but chances are you will just want to start planning your 2nd trip to Seattle. ;-) You will never be able to eat at all the places you want!!

                BUT DON'T MISS GELATIAMO! (So much better than ice cream!) I would buy stock in that place if I could!!

                1. re: boisenewbie

                  I respectfully disagree, Costal kitchen is alright but its hardly the best that seattle has to offer. It is part of a local chain thats restaurants are decent neighborhood restaurants not destinations.

                  1. re: dagrassroots

                    Well I disagree on your disagree! Ha!

                    Look, there is no way to be right. We can only share our opinions.

                    I have been to Palace Kitchen and Coastal Kitchen and I thought Coastal Kitchen was an exceptionally good restaurant. My food was outstanding and I love that they feature a menu based on a different country every few months (along with standards that stay on the menu) It is Cuban cuisine right now and I know that will be GOOD!

                    I can't be the only one who shares that opinion!

                    1. re: boisenewbie

                      I think you can ;)

                      IMO, Coastal Kitchen used to be good. But, in the past 4 or 5 years, has gone really down hill. I believe the quality of the products they use has changed. The service has always been notoriously bad but the food has gotten so much worse.

                      1. re: Lauren

                        "I think you can ;)"

                        Really, was that necessary. Thanks for making me feel like dirt when I was just trying to add suggestions like everyone else.

        2. Looks like you did plenty of research
          Here are my comments

          Dinner: Elemental (back up is Saturday dinner)- Get there early

          Early: Macrina Bakery & Cafe (worth waking up for?)- I actually like Dahlia Bakery Better.
          Morning: Pike Place Market- Mee Sum Pastry for humbow, Crumpet Shop for crumpets, Salumi and cheese from Delaurenti's
          Afternoon: Molly Moon's Homemade Ice Cream, Trophy Cupcakes- Molly moon is okay.
          Dinner: Sitka & Spruce? Joule?- Both are good but if you are going to zig zag after, palace kitchen or Union are closer and just as good.
          Later Eating/Drinking: Zig Zag-

          Brunch: Rovers or Lola? (sleep in instead?)- I would do lola
          Afternoon: Pagliacci Pizza (worth the trip out?)- Skip it and got to paseo's instead. Not overrated.
          Early Happy Hour: Poppy- I would highly recommend Poppy, where I recently had one of the more memorable meals in a long while. The sturgeon in the Thali was perfect and get the dessert thali which includes the best desserts in the city.
          Later Eating/Drinking: Quinn's- Quinn's is excellent. Also nearby for good drinks and snacks is Tavern Law.

          Breakfast: Dahlia Bakery- Didn't see this, see note above.

          * Malay Satay Hut - any good? The family is Malay, so...- I really like Malay Satay Hut. The ginger crab is great and they have good roti and Kang Kung with Belachan.
          * How To Cook A Wolf - read some decent things, liked the name.- Never Been
          * Tsukushinbo - Thought it might be a good hit for Sunday lunch- Never Been
          * Boom Noodle - My sister's suggestion. I'm not sure if this is worth going?- Not worth it.
          * Elliott's Oyster House - Any good? Tourist trap?- If you want oysters go here.
          * Paseo Carribean - Highly rated. Overrated?- See note above.

          3 Replies
          1. re: dagrassroots

            Just a logistical note: Paseo is only open Tuesday-Saturday, so lunch on Sunday won't be possible.

            Jlunar, sounds like you've done your homework, and you're getting some great advice from the other posters here, so I don't have anything substantive to add. Hope you have a wonderful trip.

            1. re: creepygirl

              Thanks for the note on Paseo Creepygirl!

            2. re: dagrassroots

              For Elemental - I'd planned to be there by 4:30 latest. I remember that I was late last time and almost had a heart-attack. Snagged the last three seats, and at the bar to boot, (best seats in the house IMO!). Do you think that's a "safe" amount of time (on a nice day)? I don't mind waiting - have DS, will kill time.

              I'm looking forward to Poppy. Looks really interesting and I'm hoping I'm not cheating myself if I only have happy hour there.. I suppose I could stay though. Quinn's is open to 1am I believe... Just that the stomach can hold only so much!

            3. Here's my two cents on your choices:

              Dinner: Elemental - you can't go wrong here. it's excellent.

              Early: Macrina Bakery & Cafe - I'd replace this with Cafe Besalu in Ballard. IMHO, the pastries are a huge step up from Macrina. At Besalu, I like the ginger biscuit, hazelnut twist, croissant, sakristan and the cardamom pretzel (actually a pastry shaped like a pretzel).

              Morning: Pike Place Market
              Afternoon: Molly Moon's Homemade Ice Cream, Trophy Cupcakes - I'd recommend Molly Moon's over Trophy b/c I've just never gotten excited about the cupcakes at Trophy. But the ice cream at MM's comes in some weird and unique flavors that are fun to try. They encourage tastes, so don't be shy to try several before making your choice.

              Dinner: Sitka & Spruce? Joule? - I recommend How to Cook a Wolf instead. It has a better atmosphere of the options, although all three offer wonderful food.

              Later Eating/Drinking: Zig Zag - good's a very cool cocktail bar.

              Brunch: Rovers or Lola? (sleep in instead?)

              Afternoon: Pagliacci Pizza (worth the trip out?) - go to Serious Pie for pizza instead. It's more unique and has a nice dine-in area whereas Pagliacci has no atmosphere and is very pedestrian food compared with Serious Pie. Get the clam pizza. Trust me on this one.

              Early Happy Hour: Poppy - yes!

              Later Eating/Drinking: Quinn's - absolutely!

              Breakfast: Dahlia Bakery - get either the homemade donuts or the homemade english muffin, filled with honeyed almond butter and banana.


              * Elliott's Oyster House - Any good? Tourist trap? It is touristy due to it's location, but I still go for their progressive oyster happy hour.

              * Paseo Carribean - Highly rated. Overrated? - not overrated...the Cuban Roast sandwich is divine.

              10 Replies
              1. re: frygirl

                Hmn. All these things in Ballard make me re-think my Sunday morning plans...! Thanks for the suggestion of Cafe Besalu - sounds like things I'd love, given I'm a fan of spiced cookies and pastries...!

                In general, I'm never excited over cupcakes, but Trophy and Molly are close. Unless it's a total pass? And it looks like I'm going to try and smash Elliott's in somewhere! Good price and excellent oysters are hard to pass up...

                1. re: jlunar

                  IMO Cupcake Royale in Ballard tops Trophy...

                2. re: frygirl

                  I second frygirl’s suggestion of substituting Café Besalu for Macrina. Don’t miss the croissants at Café Besalu – they are truly amazing and almost equal to the best you can get in Paris. I also agree with the suggestions to scrap Pagliacci Pizza. I’m not sure any of the pizza in Seattle is worth your limited time when you could instead have, for example, wonderful Basque pintxos at Txori or Harvest Vine, or good Vietnamese food at either Tamarind Tree or Huong Binh. Serious Pie has its advocates, but I’m not one of them. It’s “designer pizza,” not the traditional Neopolitan-style pizza that you get, for example, at Veraci, Via Tribulani, or Fondi. But this isn’t the place to get off on a discussion about pizza. Quinn’s is sort of fun but, although you can get some tasty gastropub fare there, I find the menu spotty. Again, the issue is whether, given very limited time, Quinn’s is better than other alternatives. If atmosphere is what you are looking for, Quinn’s is pretty cool. Finally, if you (like me) absolutely adore eating raw oysters, then Elliott’s Oyster House is a must. However, unless you are on a tight budget, I wouldn’t limit myself to the “oyster happy hour” specials, at least not right off the bat. The problem with the happy hour specials is that the restaurant picks one or two oysters for the happy hour and you are limited to those one or two selections. Instead, I suggest that you sit at the oyster bar and ask the oysterman (Anthony is more knowledgeable than Jeff) to give you a selection of what he thinks are the best of the available selection. You will pay full price for these. If you know what type of oyster you like (e.g., salty and briny versus sweet and mild), you can specify this type. Otherwise, ask for a selection of different types and decide for yourself what type, and what particular oysters, you like the best. Make sure that the selection includes the happy hour specials. Then, if you like the happy hour specials well enough, save the money and go for them.

                  By the way, I was in your hometown of Toronto recently, and contributed quite a few Chowhound posts about my experiences there. I really enjoy Toronto.

                  1. re: Tom Armitage

                    I am probably going to miss Elliott's happy hour entirely - but will try and Tetris it in - probably after the market.

                    I'm sort of thinking we'll pass on pizza - wood burning oven is great, but we also have a place like that in Toronto as well (Libretto). Txori sounds interesting, also because I see less of this (done well) in Toronto. I enjoyed Harvest Vine when I went last year, so I think I will add Txori to my list as a snack-by.

                    Toronto is a pretty awesome place - I'm glad you enjoyed your visit! I see you got to try Splendido before they changed over. I've been a couple times since then and found the service to be above average and the food has come down in price. Execution is still top-notch, but less refined? Less frilly? Definitely not the high-gloss of the tasting menu (I didn't have the Best Of, but I had gone maybe the week before). I loved the asparagus too - definitely our stand-out dish of the evening. Definitely blogged about that one.

           -- food. is. love.

                    1. re: jlunar

                      Thanks for the link to your blog. For the record, I had a better meal at Splendido than an earlier meal at The French Laundry. I also had a glorious expeience at Gallery Grill -- a big WOW on that place, and a tremendous value to boot. I didn't have time to get to Caplanski's. Next time, I hope.

                      1. re: Tom Armitage

                        Whoa, better than TFL! That's saying something. I really do like Splendido, even in it's new incarnation, so hopefully, you'll get to try that too! Caplanski's has also moved to a new location and I'm waiting for peeps to weigh in on that! I'll be sure to look out for your posts on the Toronto board.

                  2. re: frygirl

                    Regarding Café Besalu - and I don't know if anyone can answer - are the croissants as good as Tartine in San Fran?

                      1. re: mrnelso

                        ohhhhh... then it's totally worth a trip out, thank you!

                      2. re: jlunar

                        I think the croissants are better at Besalu but Tartine wins the pain au jambon (or whatever it's called) challenge.

                    1. FRIDAY
                      Dinner: Elemental (back up is Saturday dinner)- GOOD CHIOCE! I went there for my birthday and loved it...

                      Early: Macrina Bakery & Cafe (worth waking up for?)- I like the atmoshpere of the Belltown Macrina- If it is sunny you will love their patio- Good Seattle place... Good choice in relation to where you are staying!
                      Morning: Pike Place Market- Recommend Crumpet Shop, Bavarian Meats, Beecher's, Daily Dozen Donuts, the Swedish bakery next to the donuts, Mee Sum, Cinnamon Works, Pike Place Chowder, The Market Grill, etc etc
                      Afternoon: Molly Moon's Homemade Ice Cream, Trophy Cupcakes- Do both! They are blocks from each other- walk in between and see quaint Wallingford- ADD Paseo for afternoon lunch- it is closer to these two places then downtown- you can walk Fremont with your Paseo and sightsee for an hour or two
                      Dinner: Sitka & Spruce? Joule?- Like both- very different areas of the city- Joule is right by Molly and Trophy- Stitka would work better with your drinking plans- You could substitute How to Cook a Wolf here- it is kind of ( in a round about way on your way home from Wallingford/Fremont on the top of Queen Anne- also just a drive from downtown
                      Later Eating/Drinking: Zig Zag

                      Brunch: Rovers or Lola? (sleep in instead?)- Lola is one of my favorite breakfasts in downtown... yum!
                      Afternoon: Pagliacci Pizza (worth the trip out?)- it is OK- local chain of goodness- many other things could be substituted here- maybe Green Leaf or Tamarind Tree with a browsing of Uwajimaya afterwards? in the International District (ID)
                      Early Happy Hour: Poppy- Good Choice- if it is sunny pick the patio!
                      Later Eating/Drinking: Quinn's- Good Choice

                      Breakfast: Dahlia Bakery- Good Choice

                      * Malay Satay Hut - any good? The family is Malay, so... - never been
                      * How To Cook A Wolf - read some decent things, liked the name- this is one of my favorites! Queen Anne is a cute neighborhood...
                      * Tsukushinbo - Thought it might be a good hit for Sunday lunch- never heard of it
                      * Boom Noodle - My sister's suggestion. I'm not sure if this is worth going?- NOT WORTH IT
                      * Elliott's Oyster House - Any good? Tourist trap?- No- it Recommended...
                      * Paseo Carribean - Highly rated. Overrated? I really like the midnight cuban but the seared scallop sandwich is my favorite* I don't feel it is overrated- it is delicious if you are in the neighborhood

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: natalie.warner

                        Thanks for the comments - helps to know if I'm on the right track or not. And that I can cross off things like Boom Noddle ... universally panned apparently.

                        How To Cook A Wolf also gets many votes - I'm hesitant only because it's another "no-res" kind of place and quasi-Italian. I love Italian, but unless it's really top-notch, there are many good Italian places back home (Toronto) and I'm not sure it's worth the line up and gamble. However, it still makes my "back-up" list, given the good rep it has.